Book Review | Ghost of Lies by Alice Winters

Hiro
Though I was born with the ability to see the dead, I struggled with it until my brother was killed and his ghost was left behind. Now, I’m determined to figure out who is responsible for his death… the problem is that Detective Maddox Booker, the one working the case, is a grumpy and stubborn man who wants nothing to do with me and definitely doesn’t believe in ghosts. It doesn’t help that I keep finding myself looking ridiculous in front of the detective, thanks to interfering ghosts who enjoy laughing at my expense. Still, the more I’m around Maddox, the more I realize that beneath that surly exterior is a kind and caring man who will do anything to help.

Maddox
When another man dies, I know we have a serial killer on our hands—the same murderer who has remained elusive for a year and a half. To add to my frustration, I keep running into Hiro at crime scenes only to hear him claim that he can talk to ghosts. The words of the dead could lead us to the serial killer and even tell us who is next, but ghosts? There’s no such thing as ghosts. Hiro is determined and charming, and no matter what I do, I can’t stop letting him get involved. He’s definitely snagged my attention, but when he nearly winds up dead, I know he’s getting closer to the truth—and if I don’t do something soon, he might be next.

Ghost of Lies is full of action, mystery, humor, and romance. Though more is planned for this couple, the mystery is solved and there is a happy ending.

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How was it?

This isn’t my first rodeo with Alice Winters, it might be like my 11th book of hers that I’ve read. I found this author to have a very specific voice, it’s humour, fun with sexy banter. But sometimes her characters feel like the same people, just in different situations / universe. I first got this after The first Hitman’s Guide – which I enjoyed – and The first VRC novel – that I also enjoyed once I took it to be some kind of what if episode for Leland.

It might be because I haven’t read a book of hers in a while but I’m happy to say that these characters feel new to me, and not just a copy paste version of ones that came before. I didn’t have to tell myself: it’s like what if so and so from this previous book was a this or that. Her trademark heavy-handed sexy banter is there and nicely peppered throughout the story.

Here we follow Hiro, a 29 year old Asian American who’s always been able to see and speak to the dead. After a recent tragedy, in a life full of them, Hiro makes a point to help the only way he knows how, talking to newly minted ghosts shortly after their homicides, which puts him in the crosshairs of hunky and grumpy police detective, Maddox.

This might not sound like the most original premise, but winters’ style does bring a lighter touch to that kind of story. For a crime mystery novel, with an engaging Whodunit plot, the humor is one of the main driving force of the story. Even the parts of the story, where you might expect some drawn out drama, it’s artfully side-stepped. In particular one regarding Maddox, which almost had me roll my eye when it reared its ugly head, but the resolution was done so well that I was impressed. I also really enjoyed how Hiro’s abilities worked and the way he convinced the detectives of his abilities.

The only place where the novel faltered a bit for me was the identity of the serial killer that Hiro and Maddow are chasing. It was unnecessary, I didn’t see it coming though but I would have preferred someone else.

The first Medium Trouble novel has shades of Pandora PinesCold Case Psychic series, with a lot of banter, so if you’ve enjoyed that series you might enjoy this as well. I might actually go ahead and read that second book.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Ghost of Lies is available on The Book Depository, Amazon, Audible and other book retailers near you.

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